Archive | January, 2013

On Charity Part II: The Man That Lived by the River

20 Jan

There are two sides to the same coin.  The previous blog entry considered the role and responsibilities of the giver.  Let us now consider the receiver.

There is a difference between a hand-out and a hand-up and we can apply this to so many situations in life.  People struggling without a job – unable to provide food, shelter or clothing for themselves and their loved ones.  Socially and economically disadvantaged citizens (by which I do not necessarily mean ethnic minorities) wanting to start a business but are uncertain they can navigate the risky start-up market.  People caught up in what have become a myriad of entitlement programs – some justified and some not-so-much.  The lines between assistance and entitlement have blurred, the problems are many and our plight is not often in our own hands…or is it?

I am reminded of the story of the man that lived by the river.  He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town; and that the all the residents should evacuate their homes.  But the man said, “I’m religious. I pray.  God loves me.  God will save me.”  The waters rose up.  A guy in a rowboat came along and he shouted, “Hey, hey you, you in there.  The town is flooding.  Let me take you to safety.”  But the man shouted back, “I’m religious.  I pray.  God loves me.  God will save me.”  Sometime later a helicopter came along and began hovering overhead.  A guy with a megaphone shouted, “Hey you, you down there.  The town is flooding.  Let me drop this ladder and I’ll take you to safety.”  But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God will take him to safety.  Well…the man drowned.  And standing at the gates of St. Peter he demanded an audience with God.  “Lord,” he said, “I’m a religious man, I pray, I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?”  God said, “I sent you a radio report, a guy in a rowboat and a helicopter.  What the hell more did you want?”


On Charity Part I: Shut-Up and Listen

20 Jan

ernesto sirolli







Another great TEDxTalks – applicable advice whether you are a social entrepreneur, a non-profit/charity or a foreign advisor/NGO.